Be­ing sen­si­ble and be­ing clever isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the same thing, as ably demon­strated by the Skoda Room­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Roundabout -

The sen­si­ble so­lu­tion to cre­at­ing a car flex­i­ble and spa­cious enough to cope with all man­ner of fam­ily life would be to cre­ate a great big box. But the Skoda has other ideas.

First in­tro­duced in 2007, the Room­ster is a to­tally dif­fer­ent take on the fam­ily ve­hi­cle prob­lem and does so by be­ing a car with a split per­son­al­ity.

From the out­side the Room­ster is un­ques­tion­ably an un­usual-look­ing car.

The front end has the Skoda fam­ily grille and the big bold head­lights to give it an ap­peal­ing ex­pres­sion, and while the rear is more prac­ti­cally-minded it has a chunky so­lid­ity to it.

Slide into the driver’s seat and the view out is su­perb thanks to the big wind­screen and the slightly raised driv­ing po­si­tion.

It feels built to last, and al­though it’s not brim­ming with lux­u­ries it has all the things you need as stan­dard, like air con­di­tion­ing, rear park­ing sen­sors, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, al­loy wheels and a panoramic sun­roof.

But the Room­ster’s ace in the hole is in the back. There are three seats so they can be slid for­ward and back­wards to ad­just the amount of legroom and boot space. The mid­dle seat can also fold to cre­ate a ta­ble, or be re­moved al­to­gether. The outer seats can be taken out to give a huge van-like 1,780 litre boot.

And don’t think that all this MPV-like prac­ti­cal­ity means it han­dles like a bus ei­ther. The mod­ern 1.6-litre diesel unit of­fers a use­ful blend of per­for­mance and econ­omy.

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